Thursday, December 06, 2007

Debating Skills for 8 year old

Setting: Sunday afternoon - overcast and blowing a gale. 'Salina and BoyNextDoor are playing in the back yard.

'Salina: "Mu-um, can I have a swim?" (Concise question requiring yes/no answer)

Jeanie: "No darling, it's too windy and cold" (Nice logical clear reasoning)

(small pause)
'Salina: "Mu-um, If BoyNextDoor's Mum lets me can I have a swim?" (Throw in a variable and see what changes)

Jeanie: "No, its too windy and cold and you sneezed this morning." (Slightly expanded clear reasoning)

(small pause)
'Salina: "Mu-um, please can I have a swim? I promise I won't get a cold." (Offer bribes to the gods and mothers to get your way)

Jeanie: "No. If you don't get a cold you may go for a swim later in the week." (Brighter future given in negotiation)

'Salina: "P-l-e-a-s-e Mum can I have a swim now instead?" (Trying the wear-her-down method)

Jeanie: "No." (Trying the "I am sick of this debate here is my answer" method)

'Salina: "But Mu-um..." (Wear-her-down method with a raised but)

Jeanie: "No." (Repetition option instigated)

'Salina: "Aw - why not?" (Examine the technicalities)

Jeanie: "Because I said so." (Bring out the big guns)

'Salina: "That's not fair. I want a swim." (I wonder what the UN convention is on this matter?)

Jeanie: "I want world peace. The answer is No." (UN mother hat on)

'Salina: "That's not fair." (Can some liberal thinker save me from the torment of being her child?)

V: Listen to your Mum, 'Salina." (Thanks honey - nice to have allies)

'Salina: "That's not fair. I want a swim." (Overbearing dictatorship regime cramps style into petulant pose with a repetitive twist)

BoyNextDoor: "Sometimes mothers know best, 'Salina" (Don't you love the training BND's mother gives?)

(small pause)
'Salina: "If I promise not to get a cold can I go for a swim?" (Maybe you didn't hear me make my offerings to the health gods before)

Jeanie: "No." (I could sing this song all day.)

'Salina: "Its getting warmer. I don't think it is windy." (looking for the loopholes)

Jeanie: "No." (la la la la la la)

'Salina: "But.. " (have I used this one enough yet - could take it to the appeals board)

Jeanie: "If I hear another word about a swim this afternoon, there will be no swimming this week. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" (Way to go - threaten the future joy - pulling on the Judge Jeanie gown and frown)

'Salina: "Yes Mum." (If you think this is over you crazy woman, I would like to lull you into a false sense of security. Aren't I sweet?)

(long pause)
'Salina: "Mu-um, why can't I have a swim?" (Tee hee - this approach is novel and new and will be appreciated)

Jeanie: "Right. THAT IS IT..." (See silk threads blowing away over there? They were holding my sanity AND patience in place)

'Salina: "But Mum, I wasn't asking for a swim, I was asking why." (Aha - and she SCORES on the technical aspects.)


Brissiemum2 said...

Rofpmsl! That could be a carbon copy of my place...the entire conversation!!! Except that I always say 'I want a million dollars'.....stuff world peace, I'd take the money any day (tee hee!!!);)

Oh and by the end, I am screeching like a mad woman!

Oh geez, it's so nice to see that I'm not alone. My DH and I always call it the 'wear us down strategy'!!!!

Julie Pippert said...

At least you can rationalize doing it with a 8 year old. I have no excuse for engaging with a not-quite-3 year old.

Using My Words

Tracy said...

Oh man! It must be the age. My 9 year old has been doing that for a couple years. It drives me insane.

Maude Lynn said...

This is hysterical! Congratulations on the future attorney you're raising!

Tracey said...

Wait till the 14 year old 'defence barrister' mind kicks in. Citing past cases where you might have let her go for a swim in similar circumstances, hence you do not have reasonable grounds to deny her now. Plus the times where your consistency in making these rulings is called into question. (Be thankful she doesn't have the comparison to siblings line of defence.)

Actually, you did tell Salina WHY. Way back at the beginning!!

Boy next door? Definitely keep him as a friend. He has very good 'breeding' !!

jeanie said...

BM2 - I have used the million dollar strategy in the past - generally when I am using the three-prong approach of "a million dollars, world peace and thin thighs"

Julie - warning - she started her training at that age...

tee - do you mean that it doesn't switch off at 8 1/2? Darn.

mama zen - thanks - I think...

Oh no Trace - I don't need her to cite previous examples! And she will use friends in lieu of siblings, with the advantage of their mother allowing stuff...

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Good on you for not caving in. Good on you for not completely losing it. Bloody kids - they sure do test us don't they?

Just-Me-Jen said...

I love it!
Points to BND for helping you out, too.
Hmmm, wonder 'Salina may become a lawyer...

Melody said...

Yeah mum, she was just asking Why! *heehee* What a grreat kid you have...

(Us mum's are all alike aren't we?)

Lin said...

Haha! And yes, my 3 year old has definitely started her training and I can already see vague similarities with your stories. We have another 4 years for her to fine-tune her technique and for me to think of strategies to save me from insanity.